Last week, I was invited to my oldest grandson's band's first rock concert ever! Live at the school gym...totally blew me away.
A couple of days ago, my youngest grandson called to invite me to his mid-term piano recital...and of course, I was delighted to say yes. Now, remember, this is the little guy who gave so generously from his own pocket money at my Pumpkin Daze fundraiser for our local Food Bank... I'd jump thru' hoops for him, and for the rest of these babies of mine, anytime they want.
The recital was at a church by the hospital and when I arrived, the pews were almost full. My family had saved a seat for me, their Mugga, so I slid in beside the pianist of the family. I hugged him close, telling him I was very very proud of him and that I thought him extremely brave to perform for us. He kinda shrugged it off, smiled a little corner-of-the-mouth smile and looked me straight in the eye...and said nothing!
Nothing? This young man with nothing to say? Must be really nervous if he's that quiet...I noticed he'd gelled his hair, mussed it into the latest "I just rolled out of bed" fashion, was dressed in a brand-new freshly pressed blue dress shirt and a brand new pair of neatly pressed dress pants...looked like he'd just stepped out of a pint-size version of GQ. He proudly pointed to his name in the program I held, and told me just as proudly what pieces he was playing.
"By heart, Grandma," he said, "I can play them by heart."
" Now, that's something, then...good for you!" I said.
The recital began...the students, their family and friends were hushed as the first performer came to the stage. With her posture perfect, arms aligned and fingers arched properly, the little one played a short sweet little piece and then another... the audience clapped loudly, and the tiny pianist looked startled! She stood up, faced us and bowed quite regally, before racing off the stage and into her family's arms!
Three more students graced the stage and then it was my grandson's turn. He straightened his shirt, gave us a look and then strode toward the piano on the stage. His songs rolled from the keys, they were recognizable and more than that, they were played extremely well! All this and
8 years old, to boot! How cool is THAT?
Finishing his second piece, he stood up from the piano bench, turned to face the audience and then bowed from the waist. When he sat down beside me and had received all of our praise and congratulations, I gave him another hug...his little heart was beating furiously and he was tense as a violin string.
"I'm so very proud of you!" I whispered to him. Another tiny smile tickled the corner of his mouth, and he looked me straight in the eye again and whispered, "Thanks, Grandma."
Thanks, Grandma...2 tiny words...with such heart behind them. He's a brave lad, 'cause I've played at my share of piano recitals, even sang at a few and it is totally and completely terrifying.
The rest of the concert was lovely...very small children, 3 and 4 years old, older students from the upper grades and an adult student playing at her very first recital, all with something to contribute. Even the smallest child played a simple melody, no more than a few bars, but a recognizable melody, none-the-less. My grandson gave me a running commentary of each student and what they were playing, which ones were playing their music by heart...he knew everything there was to know about the recital! His comments were extremely kind and generous towards the other students. This kid is only 8 years old...what heart he has at this tender age...it is amazing to me, simply amazing.
After the last student had finished her two pieces, the teacher thanked us all for coming and invited us downstairs for refreshments. I followed the crowd downstairs to the church basement, and saw all of the students, from 3 years old and up, in line at the food table, choosing their veggies and dip, chips, a sweet or two and a drink, ever so carefully and respectfully. It amazed me to watch this sometimes rowdy crew of kids, dressed in good clothing and hair brushed just so, conducting themselves with such decorum.
Had it something to do with the pieces of classical music that had just been played? Perhaps, something to do with the influence of their teacher? Or, maybe, it is simply that they are in a different place in their heads and hearts when they're in music class...a place where good manners and good humor are ever-present, good-will and good hearts are more evident. No matter, they evening was a pleasure to be a part of, one I'd not miss for the world.
The concert was perfect for me, the food and visiting afterwards was, as always, most enjoyable. But, the thing that stays with me still is my grandson's kind heart. From sharing his lawn-mowing earnings at Thanksgiving to sharing the spotlight with his fellow students tonight, he showed a lovely tenderness and kindness that is beautiful to see. He's only 8, yet he's wiser by far than a lot of 45 year olds I know. I can still hear his soft little whisper when he very proudly informed me..."By heart, Grandma...I can play them by heart!"
Yes, you can, my darling child...oh, yes, you most certainly can...